Monday, September 22, 2008

The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan


A lot of books are billed as, "The next Harry Potter." Are there any real "next Harry Potters"? No. At least, I don't think so. The book Tunnels has been long billed as that. This is Scholastic's attempt at the next HP. I guess, it's working, since two of the series are already on the bestseller list.

The idea of the series is total interactivity. You are part of the most powerful family of all time (my branch is related to Neil Armstrong!). You are on a quest for the 39 Clues, which lead you to the greatest secret of all time. To find the clues, you need to read the books, collect the cards, and play the online games. I already have 2 clues! Oh, and you're also competing for over $100,000 in prizes. Hooray!

The first book in the series is written by Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (btw, the fifth book is called the Last Olympian!). Other guest writers will be in further books.

On the book itself, I really enjoyed it. Not as good as Percy Jackson, but the author's style really shone through. I woudn't recommend it fully on its wonderful writing, but for the awesome idea of the whole interactive aspect.

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

You know those books, the rare ones where you literally cannot bring yourself to stop reading them? This is one of them.

The author, Suzanne Collins, is the author of the hugely popular "Gregor the Overlander" series. This book is waaay beyong that.


The plot is, the main character lives in the future where there are 13 districts. Each district sends a boy and a girl in to compete in "The Hunger Games", a 2-week battle to the death. The last one standing is showered with gifts. The main character is chosen, and has many conflicts to deal with, including possible romance and friendships.


This book has a very strong storyline, but that's not the strong point. The best part is the incredibly strong characterization that happens in the story. Katniss, the main character and narrator, has very strong feelings and opinions. The whole book reads like a great action movie - no end to the action, no slowing done. Loved it!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox, by Eoin Colfer


I have to say, I have lost faith in Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series. I thought the first two were great. The third, by far the best, left me wishing for more. I loved it. But the fourth, the Opal Deception, was lackluster - relying on an old villian and no funny parts. The latest one, the Lost Colony, was abysmal, confusing and with no character development.
But then this one changed my view.
The Time Paradox is a very, very good story. Yes, in the beginning I didn't like it. But it catches its stride in the middle with action, breathless pace, and bang-up suprises. I loved it.
The story is that Artemis Fowl, a teen genius who is less-than-good, has a mother who is dying with a rare disease. The only cure is the brain fluid of the silky sifaka lemur, which Artemis made exctinct a few years back. Naturally, they go back in time to save it, but one person gets in the way. Artemis himself.
Yes, the plot sounds a little outlandish, but Eoin Colfer not only pulls it off, he entertains us and leaves us laughing along the way.

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